Fly-tipping in England on the increase

Written by: Geraldine Faulkner | Published:

The number of fly-tipping incidents in England has increased by over 5% according to new figures released by the Government.

The latest Environment Agency’s annual statistics show that there were 900,000 cases of fly-tipping in the country last year with household waste accounting for the highest percentage of illegal waste disposal.

The estimated cost of clearance of fly-tipping to local authorities in England in 2014/15 was nearly £50 million, an 11% increase on 2013/14.

The Spartacus Alliance – which represents an alliance of five UK waste management specialists, ID Secured, Parry & Evans, M & J Bowers, C & M Recycling, and S2S Electronics - said the figures represent a worrying shift and suggested that some people may be being duped into using unscrupulous waste collection services.

“Fly-tipping costs local councils millions to clear up each year with the types of waste dumped ranging from black bags, to items of unwanted furniture, electrical goods and commercial waste”, said Gary Tait, MD of Spartacus.

“It’s a huge blight on our local environment, and also causes a significant risk to public health.

“People are appalled when they see pictures of waste abandoned in our towns and countryside, and very few would deliberately engage in fly-tipping. We believe that some businesses are unwittingly using unregulated waste collection companies – but they could soon find themselves receiving a heavy fine,” added Tait.

Other statistics released by the Government include:

  • The most common place for fly-tipping to occur was reported to be on highways which accounted for 48% of total incidents in 2014/15
  • Incidents of flytipping on footpaths, bridleways and back alleyways increased by 3.2% in England in 2014/15. Together these are now said to account for 28% of fly-tipping incidents
  • Nearly a third of all incidents consisted of a quantity of material equivalent to a ‘small van load’. The second largest size category for fly-tipping incidents was ‘car boot’ and accounted for nearly 30% of total incidents
  • The estimated cost of clearance of fly-tipping to local authorities in England in 2014/15 was nearly £50 million, an 11% increase on 2013/14
  • Local authorities carried out nearly 515 thousand enforcement actions at an estimated cost of £17.6 million in 2014/15, a £0.3 million increase on the previous year. This is said to have equated to an increase of 3.1% on enforcement actions in the same period

The new fly-tipping statistics were revealed days after the Government announced plans to introduce new waste crime legislation, including fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping.

Tait added: “Fly-tipping undermines legitimate waste businesses. It’s really important that people use a regulated waste management provide.”

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